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Gary’s Blog: Let the Games Begin (Please!)

A new month. Renewed hope. Closer to a return to normalcy. Those are the thoughts and feelings I had as we approached June. These days, I am happy as each new month starts, because the months that have ended signify the worst months that I have ever lived through, not just personally, but for the world around me, around us. I keep telling myself that the start of each month brings us closer to the way of life I remember from happier times, from when my biggest worry was how bad one of my favorite teams was doing.

Numbers are on my mind every day. I like looking at numbers in sports, figuring out how many wins my team has, what they need, individual numbers, etc.  These days, the numbers I’m looking at are how many new cases of the Coronavirus there are, how many active cases there are and how many deaths there are. I would much rather spend my time thinking of sports numbers. They’re much more fun.

Here we are in June, and the numbers are better. Some sports are back. I will be much happier when the team sports come back. And it does appear they are getting closer to returning. I don’t know which sport will be first to return, though. One day, it seems baseball will be back in early July. But again, numbers come into play. These numbers are dollars, and both owners and players like the numbers to be on their side. Which means that MLB might not start in 30 days. In this case, I see that both sides have reasons why their numbers mean more than the other side. Some might call it greed. I’ll tell you what numbers I can and can’t accept: If MLB decides to play 82 games, I can barely accept a half season of games, but I understand with three months lost, it makes some sense. The number I can’t accept is 50, as in how many games the owners are suggesting so the players would get a prorated portion of their salary. To play only 50 games would be a waste of a season to me. No fans, only a  third of a season, might as well not play at all. Just start over next season and hopefully things could be normal again, with fans in attendance, and we can enjoy a full baseball season.

And then we have the NBA, which should decide this week on how the season will resume. I’m glad that the NBA will be back, even if things will be so different. To play all the games in Orlando, with no fans, and not every team playing, it just won’t be the same. I see that they might have more than the normal 16 teams in the playoffs. I hate this proposal. It’s awful. There’s talk that the NBA wants to have 20 or 22 teams in these expanded playoffs so that it’ll include Zion Williamson. Another idea that I hate. I know they want higher ratings, as again money comes into play. This season to me won’t really count as to who wins it all. Don’t make more changes then are necessary. And by starting on July 31st, as we hear, that means that next season might not start on Christmas Day, which would be a late start at that. I know there aren’t easy solutions, things won’t be the same this year no matter what each league does. I wish that the changes could be kept to a minimum, and that sooner rather than later, we get that return to normalcy. As we start the month of June, I now can’t wait for the start of  July, when, hopefully, the games will resume.
As for June, I most look forward to being able to sit down at a restaurant and eating a meal. I miss those days. Especially because for these past two and a half months, I’ve eaten my lunch standing in a parking lot using my trunk as a table. Don’t laugh at me because it’s true.

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